Dallas Cowboys head coach puts together final masterpiece

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

For the fourth time in his career as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett leads the team to a divisional loss late in the season.

Say what you will about (soon-to-be-ex?) Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. He is extremely consistent, even though his teams rarely follow suit.

The coach preaches execution. He continually provides lip service to “all three phrases,” and loves to talk about finishing the fight. Most of it rarely comes into fruition, however.

As such, the Dallas Cowboys always oversell and underperform. In nine seasons as the full-time head coach of this organization, a team with stars at key positions has consistently found a way to limp to the finish line.

From 2011-2013, the Dallas Cowboys could do no better than 8-8. Each season, they had a chance to win the division and make the playoffs. Each season, the lost to a divisional opponent in late December and failed on their mission.

In 2017, the Dallas Cowboys finished with a record of 9-7. They had an opportunity to make the playoffs as a Wild Card team if they could just win at home against the other team fighting for that same right. As a Christmas gift to their loyal and rabid fan base, the offense could not find the end zone and fans spent Christmas Eve with no playoff berth to unwrap the next morning.

On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys came into Week 15 at 7-7. A win over their most hated divisional opponent would clinch the NFC East. As only he can, Garrett painted one final masterpiece as the head coach of this team. Call the series of his art “Flaming Bag of Doo-Doo.”

The Jason Garrett-led offense looked bored and uninterested. The defense had little-to-nothing to do with the times that the Eagles looked equally inept. Yet again, a pre-Christmas game ended with the offense failing to score a touchdown. For one last time, Garrett insured this team would do no better than 8-8 and likely failing to reach the postseason.

It is truly remarkable to be so consistently average. If one did not know any better, you might almost think Garrett truly strives for this accomplishment.

Playing against an injury-ravaged Philadelphia Eagles, the league’s number one offense could muster a mere 14 yards in the first quarter. Throughout the game, Eagles’ players limped on and off and yet, Dallas could never find a way to score without kicking field goals.

Two specific scenarios will stand out from this game and be beat to death for days, weeks and months in Big D. Neither will shock you.

The first occurred to start the third quarter. Down 10-6 and facing a 3rd & 1 on the Eagles 25, the play call was an option sweep. This play had literally NEVER worked all season, but it was sure to this time, right? What if we upped the degree of difficulty and ran such a play with a backup running back?

That is precisely what Dallas chose to do as star back Ezekiel Elliott was getting checked for a concussion. In his place, backup Tony Pollard who had one previous carry in this game was tasked with extending the drive.

This is a very Garrett-like thing to do. The guy who is supposedly the smartest guy in the room, time and again proves otherwise. Several better options existed.

If you really wanted to hand it off to Pollard, why not use a three-wide set since he’s best in space? Why call a play that literally cuts off an entire side of the field and sends everyone to your ball carrier? There is also the blatantly obvious call of using your 6’4,” 250-pound quarterback on a sneak.

None of these would suffice, however. As a result, not only did the Eagles make a stop, but they also forced a turnover as Pollard fumbled. A chance at points wasted.

The second dubious idea which ultimately was the final nail in the coffin also dealt with personnel and play-calling. Armed with three timeouts and facing a 4th & 8 from the Eagles 23, two key weapons were missing from the huddle.

When asked about it afterward, Garrett said he wanted to have two tight ends with backup receiver Tavon Austin on the field. That’s right, the offensive genius would prefer 12 personnel with a backup on the perimeter over Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb.

Of course, the play failed as quarterback Dak Prescott went deep to the end zone to receiver Michael Gallup.

Prescott, Elliott, Cooper, and Gallup will hopefully have more chances at postseason glory. Unlike some of their predecessors, namely Tony Romo, and Dez Bryant, their entire careers will not be wasted by the pathetically average coach.

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With one game left in his Dallas Cowboys coaching career, I can think of no better send-off than for fans to just not show up for the home finale. A quiet game in front of absolutely no one is exactly what Garrett deserves for the 9.5 years of bland failure.